The Labrador Weight Loss Program - Step OneI think I've decided to write a weight loss book. I know, kind of funny coming from a guy who weighs 330 pounds huh? OK, I say I'm going to write one mostly tongue in cheek. But a week with our new labrador puppy had me thinking that this might be a whole new approach to weight loss.
Step one onf the Labrador Weight Loss Program (LWLP) is to procure an 8 week old Labrador puppy. Many books have been written about this subject and honestly I don't think it has to be a lab, but in my case it is. Now you may think you're in shape. You might think you're quick. You might think you're sly. You may even think you're smart. But when you bring home your lab puppy, all those myths are dispelled as you spend every free moment of your day trying to keep up with her!
During their first week at home, they will point out to you just how dirty your home is. They will find EVERYTHING within reach of their nose and you'll find yourself constantly saying "Come here! Where did you find THAT?" Oh and then when they realize you want what they have in their mouth, they make a game out of making sure you don't get it. Thankfully they still cannot get out of the way of their large paws and eventually will trip over something or ram their head into something else. Thus making extraction of said object much easier.
You'll also find during step one that you do NOT want to crate your puppy for very long. So simple pleasures like going out to eat go by the way side. Personally I have not been through a drive thru in the morning for over a week now. I cook breakfast at home with my puppy at my feet. So by not getting all those extra drive thru calories, you're sure to drop some ounces there!
Now your puppy will need LOTS of exercise. Your goal is to wear them out so all they want to do is sleep at night and not play. Yesterday after I had worked out on the patio for a few hours, I decided to weed parts of the back yard. Taylor decided she'd help. She got smacked in the face with a pick axe a couple times, but I think she finally learned to not dig where I was digging. (Sorry puppy) When Teri got home, she joined in the weeding effort. We weeded from 4PM - 7PM and Taylor was right by our side the whole time "helping". By the time we got cleaned up and settled on the couch for the evening, puppy wanted nothing to do with playing. When she finally settled down for the night, she slept right on through to 5:30 this morning! A full night's rest!
As puppy grows, you'll need to start taking her out for walks. This will be new activity for me. Right now we just walk to the mail box and back (about a block each way) and she's about done with the leash and her collar. But eventually I can see us doing a couple miles each evening when I get home. Step one is proceeding nicely.
The DOL set a new goal for me this morning . . .As it's my birthday, I had to renew my driver's license this morning. What a wonderful experience! No, I'm serious. It literally took me 5 minutes. Took a number, number was called before I had even torn it off. Gave old license, passed vision test, paid money. Stood in line for pics, got called next, after two more pics were taken, got my new DL. I think it took me longer to type this than it actually took to get it!
Anyway, as I was walking away from the DOL, I looked at my new license. I have a new goal. To get back to my Driver's License weight. I set some new goals at Mastermind earlier in the week and will post them here as I have time, but this got me thinking. I last renewed my DL in 2000. At that time, my weight was listed as 270. I was probably more like 300, so it was cheating then. Now it's REALLY cheating. So I've got 60 lbs to lose before 2014 when I next have to renew. No worries mate ... the one goal I did set was to be below 290 before Mastermind next year. So 40 lbs in 52 weeks. Easy peasy.
Taylor the Wonder Dog - Day 2No, I don't intend on writing a blog every day about Taylor.
Last night was MUCH better than the first. I think the first day, everyone's sensativity was on overload. I had a splitting head ache from listening to Taylor for 7 hours in the car. There was the bit about SEVEN HOURS in the car. We only had a couple hours to wear her out, which in puppy time is nothing. So I think the first night was hard on everyone.
Last night was very different. Teri had made it home by 2PM and played and played and played with Taylor until I got home a little after 7. Then we played some more. She was exhausted. We put her in her crate at 9:05 and she could only manage barking until about 9:25 and was quiet until about 12:30. Then Teri got up and took her out. Right back in the crate for another 15 minutes or so of barking and she slept on through until 4:30. I took her out and then put her right back in her crate. 5:30 rolled around and she was ready to go! With about 6 hours sleep under my belt, I feel MUCH better today.
Taylor is definitely a water dog! (BTW, I'm VERY excited about this!) She has apparently taken a shower with Teri each of the last two mornings. I was wondering why the floor was so wet when I went in there!? She will sit outside the shower and bark until Teri lets her in. Pretty cool. I'm really glad she's not afraid of water!
This morning after we were done playing, I put her in her crate and laid down on the floor in front of it. When she would whine, I'd say "Taylor! No!" and she'd be quiet. We played that game for a few minutes and she settled down and was quiet. After about 10 minutes, I got up and went into the living room. She could still see me, but I wasn't right next to her. She was perfect! Another 10 minutes and I let her out, giving her much praise and a treat for being so good.
I'm starting to learn her signals for having to go to the bathroom, so accidents in the house are down today. Since today is my birthday, I had to go get my drivers license. So I had to leave Taylor in her crate again. I was planning to be gone about two hours. So I made sure she went #1 and #2 before I left, crated her and headed out. Again, I could hear her from the street. But after running my errands (DL, Office, Bike Shop, PetSmart) I pulled into the driveway and all was quiet in the world. So I imagine she barked for about 15 minutes and settled down. (or the smart little thing heard me pull into the driveway and shut up about 30 seconds before I walked in).
Right now the two of us are lounging on the back patio. She's just had her lunch and I read a book about potty training. So far, it's a VERY good birthday!
Taylor comes home . . .So yesterday Taylor Jane aka Tristar's Hot Tamale came home. An exhausting 13 hour trip to Canada and back. I left my house at 6:45AM. One stop in Everett at 8:45 to get Canadian Money, then arrived in Maple Ridge around 11:30. Puppy and I were back on the road by noon ish. We arrived back at the border around 1 and the wait was over 2 and a half hours. It was nearly 3:30 before we were back in the US. We found a grassy spot and played for about 1/2 hour and I gave her some water. Then back in the crate for the rest of the drive home. Traffic on 405 was pure hell. We finally pulled into the driveway around 7PM. Taylor did really well in her crate. She would bark and yelp for about 30 - 45 minutes, then settle down and sleep for about an hour. She never peed or soiled her crate at all. She has good bladder control.
Teri and I played with her until about 9PM. Then we introduced her to her big crate (I used a cat carrier to bring her home) for bed time. All night long, she'd bark and yelp and whine (you'd think we were running a puppy torture chamber) for about an hour, then sleep for about an hour. So needless to say none of us got very much sleep last night. I took her out around midnight for a pee and Teri took her out around 3. She was up for good at 5:30. I watched her while Teri got ready for work, then she and I laid down again for a couple hours. She again whined and barked in her crate (and actually threw up) but settled down for about two hours.
I feel horrible today. No energy. My stomach is upset. I had to leave Taylor at home at 1:00 to head out to site. She was in her crate and even with the windows closed, you could hear her in the street. I felt horrible. I feel like a bad puppy parent. I even called Teri and asked if she could come home early today. I'm a wreck. Emotionally and Physically drained. NOT how you want to come back from vacation.
This puppy parent thing is going to really test me.
The taste of words . . .
OK, so maybe the low humidity is getting to me or maybe it's the heat. But tonight I was reading Readers Digest. One of my favorite sections is the vocabulary test. They give you 14 or so words and 4 multiple choice answers for each. Tonight I got 12 of 14 right. I'm proud of my vocabulary and I know I don't use it nearly enough. But it got me thinking . . . I love words. I love how the right word at the right time can evoke just the right emotion. I love how the right word at the wrong time can evoke the absolutely holy crap what did I just do and why is her face contorting that way wrong emotion. E-mail usually elicits the latter response when the former was intended.
I was thinking tonight about how words can be used to describe the senses. Actually I was thinking of how words that usually describe one sense, can and often should be used to describe a completely different sense. Like this phrase popped into my head this evening:
The succulent sound of a morning songbird.
How perfect is "succulent" in that sentence? Oh sure it's easy to describe a peach as succulent, but the sound of a morning songbird? Perfect. It pulls on your emotions. Or rather, it does mine.
Poem . . .Couldn't sleep tonight, this popped into my head:
In the dead of night on a desert wind, I heard your name
Like a jagged arrow it pierced my mind and I screamed
Then back through the dark chasm from whence it came
The air was still and once again I was sane
John - 12:55am - Silver Lakes, Helendale, California
Great way to start vacation . . .So Teri and I headed for California bright and early Thursday morning. OK, not so bright, it was pitch black as we pulled out of the driveway at 5:15AM. But damn was it EARLY! When we arrived at the airport, I got out of the car and felt a sharp pain in my right leg. Basically from my kneecap to my groin. We checked our luggage, got through security and got to our gate.
By the time we got to the gate, I was feeling nauseous. I was dizzy and queasy. We got on the plane and I promptly laid my head against the window and went to sleep. I was asleep for most of the flight. I think had I been awake, I probably would have thrown up. I didn't even wake up for breakfast, nor did I eat the danish Teri had bought for me at Starbucks. I even left the OJ in it's container.
When we arrived in Ontario, CA, I told Teri how I was feeling. (We did not sit together on the plane) I told her I thought perhaps my Cellulitis was back. We got our luggage and my parents picked us up and we headed back to their home in Silver Lakes. When we got here, I took off my right shoe and my right sock and examined my leg. Sure enough, red and splotchy. Damn. After not seeing it for over a year, here it was in full force. On the first day of vacation no less.
So I called my doctor and had him call in a prescription at a Wallgreens in Victorville. Teri and my parents made the 45 minute drive (each way!) to go get it. I spent the rest of the day and night between the couch and the bath tub.
Finally today, Saturday, I'm feeling mostly normal. We're gonna try and get a round of golf in today. It should be our third day in a row playing, but I've been relegated to the indoors for the past two.
Great way to start vacation . . .
A Picture of Opposites . . .So this morning, I loaded my bike on top of my car because I was taking it to Bonney Lake Bicycles in Sumner for a tune up while Teri and I are out of town. (Was that sentence long enough?) Anyway, I'm reminded of when I worked at the YMCA in High School. I would see people come in and work their butts off for two hours and as soon as they were out of the door, light up a cigarette. (Seriously dude, what's with the long ass sentences?) I thought to myself, "What a waste"
As I was pulling out of the Jack in the Box drive thru this morning . . . . with my bike on top of my car, I wondered if anyone was looking at me saying "What a waste".
Something HAS to change John. Seriously. No more f-ing around. Either you're in, or you're out. You're not doing anything half assed any longer.
Next to last trip to Canada!
OK, so this weekend Teri and I headed up to Canada again. I'm pretty sure we're on some terrorist watch list now. We've been up 3 weekends in a row. Don't even stay 24 hours. And have gone across and come back via three separate border crossings now. So I fully expect on the 22nd when I bring our new puppy home, she and I will get the full pleasure of a body cavity search before we're allowed to enter the United States.
Teri and I headed out on Saturday around 6:15. We made really good time and ended up at the Maple Ridge Travelodge at about 10:25. Sunday morning we got up and tried to get breakfast at a retaurant right across from our hotel, but it was PACKED, so we ended up at the White Spot again. Word of advice; AVOID THE MAPLE RIDGE WHITE SPOT AT ALL COSTS!!! We had what I would consider the WORST service possible. We waited nearly 20 minutes for a server. Then another 30 minutes for our food. Our server never ONCE checked back on us unless we were able to flag him down. My food was cold, there was some "foreign object" in my french toast. My refill on my drink arrived about 20 minutes after ordering when we were ready for the check. IT WAS HORRIBLE!! I vote it for WORST BREAKFAST EVER! I can't believe Teri tipped . . . auuuuugghhh! (Still pi$$ed about breakfast!)
Anyway, we arrived at Shelley's around 11:15 (15 minutes late, thank you White Spot!). The puppies were in their pen and Teri's cousin Debbie had just finished scoring their personality tests. We went down to the full-size dog play pen and Debbie's friend Michelle brought down her three labs, Sophie (4months, black), Lewis (chocolate) and Sam (2.5 years, black and father of our puppy) to let them play with Shelley's dog Fergie. It was really cool to see them interact and play with each other.
Back up at the puppy pen, Shelley was "Stacking" the dogs. Basically standing each of them on a table to check out their various puppy parts to see how worthy they were of being a show dog. We went through each puppy and I shot 5 - 10 pictures of each. Shelley narrowed it down to three dogs and we did head to head comparisons of each. She finally chose "the one" and her alternate. This meant that the order of the "puppy draft" was set.
Wee Tiny was apparently the first chosen in the Puppy draft, followed by another female, then we got to choose. We chose what we have previously been referring to as "Red Head Female". She is now known as "Taylor". And is OUR puppy! I'll head back up to Canada to pick her up on the 22nd of this month. Two days before my birthday! The picture below is of "Taylor" . . . we think her registered name is going to be "Tristar's Hot Tamale". Shelley is doing a "Hot" theme because it was so danged hot when they were whelped. If you click on cute little Taylor, you can go see all the photos of all the puppies . . . and see what I mean by "Stacking" them.
One thing that was really cool . . . Shelley was showing off Scarlett, Taylor's momma. She had a rubber buoy that she would throw for Scarlett and Scarlett would wait until released to retrieve it (which she did with aplomb!) and bring it back. While Scarlett was retrieving, all the puppies were barking and whining to get at mommy. All except little Taylor. She was just sitting down watching the whole thing. Now we can't be sure, but it just seemed like she was taking it all in and saying "OH, that's what I get to do when I grow up!" When we would go over to the pen, Taylor would come right over and see us. When we'd call her, she'd come to us. It was almost like she picked us rather than the other way around. Pretty cool. Also, she did score the highest on the personality test. Which is good AND bad. It means she will tend to be a bit independent and Teri and I will REALLY need to be consistent on her training. But it als means that she'll pick things up really quickly. So I'm really looking forward to life with Taylor around!
Taylor Posing for the Camera With Help From Teri
Approaching Life With a Winning Attitude Not a Fear Of LossLast night was an insomnia night. I have these quite frequently. I'll come to bed dog tired and lay there for 30 minutes or more getting more and more awake with each passing minute. So usually after about 30 minutes or more of this, I'll get up and jump on the PC. I'll research Real Estate related subjects, or learn a bit of software a bit more in depth, etc. One of my favorite past times is logging onto Active Rain. It's a site for RE professionals to gather and discuss Real Estate, etc. I have a blog there too. (Yes, I have 3 blogs, what of it?) Sometimes late at night, I come up with some interesting stuff. This was a blog entry that I posted around midnight on active rain . . . I re-read it this morning and thought it may deserve a spot here too. So for your reading pleasure . . . or pain . . . here it is:
I had a really interesting conversation with my coach this morning. (I am being coached by Buffini and Company) You see, before I was a Real Estate Agent, I was in IT. And I got laid off. That was a horrible experience for me. One that I don't want to repeat. Yes, I was basically just a victim of the dot com era. But it's hard to not take something like that personally. In that very instant when my boss came into my office and said "John, I need you to shut down your PC" my life changed forever.
Up until that point I was getting a steady paycheck and had been since I was 16. I knew that if I spent this week's money, next week there would be more. Not now. I took my severance package and paid a ton of bills off and went into business for myself. I view life a little more jaded now. Now I know it can all be gone in an instant.
The conversation I had with my coach this morning brought that all home. She was speaking of herself when she said that someone told her that week that she was operating from a fear of loss. Not operating with a mindest to win. It was like a mack truck hit me at full bore. THAT'S what I've been doing! I've been going through this business for the past 4 years feeling "Lucky". It's not my talent that has propelled me to such heights, it's been luck. And my luck is bound to change at some point. I've been operating from the perspective of a fear of loss.
When I've recognized this and made concious efforts to change, it has shown HUGE gains. For example, 3 weeks ago I had nothing going on. No deals in escrow, two listings that were not selling, buyers not commiting, etc. I was caught up in "the market" and operating from "Here it comes, your luck has changed". I went to a Turning Point Retreat (Buffini and co. event) and reset my goals. Instead of making $217,000 as I had planned this year, I reset my goal to make $50K for the rest of the year (would be about $125,000 for the year).
Since I've been back from the retreat, I've written up one of my own listings ($20K), been referred a SOLID buyer ($6K), my other listing sold and we're now pending ($6K), the buyer that's buying my listing that I wrote up will be selling his home after moving in to the new one ($6K), one of my buyers is off the fence ($5K) and the seller of the home I wrote is buying a condo ($6K). Not being one to count their chickens before they hatch, only $26K of this is actually in Escrow and the rest are just REALLY solid possibilities. But add those amounts up. Yep, $49K. $1K shy of what I set as a goal for the REST OF THE YEAR! Weird how that works huh? I'm now re-thinking my goal that I set and will probably shoot for $75K for the rest of the year. And you know what else is cool about this mental shift? Now I BELIEVE I can hit it!
All becuase I was approaching things from a WINNING perspective rather than letting the gloom and doom out there pervade my life and suck me in. So fellow rainers. Approach life with a winning attitude, not from a fear of loss. You'll be surprised what a difference it makes!
John and Teri's Canadian Adventure - Part Deux
See Deux is TWO in French and Canada has two primary languages . . . English and French . . . haha? Whatever. Anyway, Teri and I headed up Saturday night after I got done at site. Apparently we hit Canada on another busy weekend. I never knew Canada was so dang popular!? But apparelty it's a long weekend in Canada this weekend for BC day or something on Monday. So trying to find a hotel on Saturday night was again a pain in the a$$. But we eventually found one last non-smoking room at the Travelodge in Langley Township. We finally left Puyallup around 6:30 - 6:45 and checked into the hotel about 20 minutes after 10. Teri is not a big fan of riding in the car for much more than two hours, so I brought the laptop along and popped in a movie for her. (Side note: We connected the laptop to the TL's audio system . . . I think I may start watching all my movies in the car! The sound was AMAZING! Even though it was just connected through a stereo headphone jack, it sounded like it was in surround. And the sub in the TL kicks a$$!) Once we were just north of 405, Teri started the movie . . . Shooter with Mark Wahlberg
. . . and seemed to really enjoy the ride.
We checked into the Travelodge
and headed to our room. It happened to be right above the office, so I assumed it would be loud. Not so much. As soon as we kicked on the air conditioner, the room was fine. Teri finished watching her movie and we finally hit the hay around 11PM. That was a LONG day! After getting up at 5:45 to go on a ride with team ISBG, then working at Thornbury for 7 hours and another 4 hour drive, I was WIPED! I slept OK, but not fantastic.
We woke up Sunday morning mostly refreshed. We headed off to breakfast at our favorite little Canadian breakfast chain, the White Spot
. After breakfast, we decided to drive around rather than take the ferry that we used to come home last week. We ended up at the Ikea in Port Coquitlam. We love walking through Ikea for some reason . . . We grabbed a cinnamon bun and a bottle of water at the Ikea Bistro.
(Side topic: So over the past two weekends I've really been paying attention in Canada. One of the things I really noticed today is that there are not a lot of fat Canadians. I mean you just don't see a lot of fat people walking around. Every day in the states I'll see at least one, and often many, person that is larger than me. Now by medical standards, I am obese. But in Canada, over two weekends, I have not seen one person larger than myself. NOT ONE. So upon further investigation, I started looking at the ingredients of a couple of things. A couple of my favorite things. Ketchup and Coke. In the states, one of the main ingredients in both of these products is High Fructose Corn Syrup. In Canada, they list "Liquid Sugar" in the ingredients. I'll have to find out if that is a different name for HFCS, but I doubt it. The products taste different. You may remember from a previous rant on here that I wanted to eliminate HFCS from my diet. I honestly believe that this could be a MAJOR reason why Canadians are not as fat as Americans. More research into the Canadian Versus American diet has to be done, but I think I'm on to something.)
OK, after Ikea, we headed off to Maple Ridge to see the puppies again. We arrived at Shelley's house around 12:45, 15 minutes early. As it was pretty warm out today, Shelley had the puppies in their play pen on the concrete in the shade. Over breakfast I asked Teri "Do you think they will have grown much since last week?" She shook her head "No". Well we were in for a surprise! It looks like these puppies ATE the other puppies! They were NOTICEABLY larger than last week! And a LOT more playful! They were running around and pulling on each other's tails and ears. They were very much rambunctious puppies!
Shelley took us out back to show us a couple of her other dogs as well as a couple that she was boarding for some other owners. First off, we should mention that she has about an acre of land. And it backs up to a Provincial forest. It's a beautiful piece of property! Her "pen" that she has for the dogs is no ordinary pen. I'd say it's about 20' X 30' and all gravel lined. BUT it opens on the back to another fenced off piece of property she has. That area, I have no idea how big it is, but it's AWESOME! It's partially forested and it has a doggie race track around it. We watched a couple of the dogs playing and chasing after each other. She has a BEAUTIFUL yellow lab named Dixie! Also, one of Scarlett's other puppies was there . . . although she's now a full grown yellow lab. Jade. Beautiful dogs. I cannot remember the names of the two black labs in the pen (Fergie was one I think), but they were equally pretty! We feel really good about Shelley and Tristar Labradors
. They have an awesome program and you can REALLY tell that Shelley loves what she does and loves the Labrador breed.
We went back to playing with the puppies and I commenced the photo taking. I'm afraid that the pictures this week did not turn out as well as last week. But I still got some good shots. I ended up filling a 2Gb memory card by taking about 217 photos. (YIKES! And I thought taking 74 last week was a lot!) I should note too that Shelley was so impressed with the photos last week that she wanted to have me take "posed" photos of each of the puppies. Both side shots and face shots. So I shot well over 100 photos there. So I won't take full credit for all the photo shootin'. :-) I'm now considered Tristar's
official photographer. HA! I told Shelley that should move us up on the list a spot . . . she's too honest for that. Dang it.
Last week, we had our eye on two puppies. The one known as "Wee Tiny" or the runt of the litter. She's quite the cute little girl. And we had our eye on "The talker". She was the one that would bark and wake up her brothers and sisters when she was ready to play. This week, "Wee tiny" was pretty mellow, but "The Talker" was as rambunctious as ever! There was even a point where Teri was on the ground growling and barking at her and she was barking and growling right back! It was about the damned cutest thing I'd ever seen! Unfortunately the battery on my camera was dead, so I didn't get any photos of it. I should have grabbed the video camera out of the car . . . oh well . . . c'est la vie (another French phrase that means "That's Life!"). When you look at the pictures, "The Talker" is the one playing tug of war with Teri and a dog collar. We brought up a dog collar to make sure it was the right size for when we take her home. It was. We also brought one of our cat carriers to make sure it would be large enough to bring her home in. It'll work. Besides, puppy only has to be in it for 3 or 4 hours of her life, so she'll be fine. We also left a blanket there that Shelley will put in the pen with momma and all her siblings so when we bring her home, she'll have something with their scent on it. We want to make the transition as easy as possible on our little one.
Teri with "Wee Tiny" (Left) and "The Talker" (Right)
Click on the photo for even MORE puppy pix!
So it looks like Teri has her heart set on "The Talker". Shelley did say she'd try to steer the two couples in front of us away from her, but I'm trying to keep Teri from getting her heart set on one puppy. It'll break her heart if the one she wants is not available when we go to pick her up. We'll see. I really want her to get the one she wants, so we'll see what we have to do to make it happen. After 2 and a half hours, we headed back. We promised ourselves that we would not stay that long, but time flies when you're playing with puppies!
The drive home was fairly uneventful. We had to wait in line to cross the border for about 45 minutes, but after that it was pretty much clear sailing. We got back around 8:30. LONG weekend! Gonna do it next weekend too! But first, I'm reserving a room RIGHT NOW!
Team ISBG Gets a New Member!
Team In Shape Big Guys (ISBG) gained a new member today! Welcome aboard Erick! It was good to see you out there with us this morning!
So Steve coined the term In Shape Fat Guys this morning. I'm not a big fan of the word "fat" even though it probably is the most descriptive word for us. So I made a slight modification and changed it to ISBG. I don't honestly know if I'd consider myself in shape, but I don't know many 300+ pound guys that can ride a bicycle 30 - 40 miles. But anyway, this morning our long time friend Erick joined us for the ride. Steve has had Erick's Trek 1200 (The pink one) for a couple years now and Erick finally gave him the OK to go ahead and tune it up. There are still a few kinks to work out, but all in all, I think it worked farily well for Erick this morning.
We had agreed to meet at the trailhead in Puyallup at 7AM. I got there about 6:35 and Steve was already there. Scott showed up about 10 minutes later and at about 5 after 7 Erick showed up. (We'll forgive him this time since he'd never been to the trailhead before.) We headed out at about 7:15 - 7:20 at a fairly slow pace. It was after all Erick's first time on a bike in nearly 18 years. Erick kept slipping gears, so we stopped around the 5 mile mark so Steve could adjust Erick's rear derailur. After that, the gear slippage problem seemed to go away. We continued on through Orting. Just outside Orting proper, I told Steve "It's time for some Rob fun!" (See Steve's blog for info and the back story on who Rob is) I started sprinting as hard as I could and Steve followed suit. My chain slipped as I tried to go into the top chain ring on my front derailur, but I finally got it locked in and cranked it up to about 25 MPH . . . and WHOOSH . . . there goes Steve . . . bastard. He later said he thinks he hit about 32 MPH. I've got some work to do. I coasted after that little gambit for awhile, making sure I didn't puke. OK, maybe the IS in ISBG is a bit of a mis-nomer.
We hit the "hill" at the 10 mile mark and I was able to cruise up it at about 14 - 15 MPH without much issue. (It's really not that big a hill, but in the past it's given me trouble) There is a good stopping point right after that, so we stopped to wait for Erick and Scott. We hung about and chatted and drank a bit. As I had to be to work, I had to turn around at that point and head back. I would have like to have gone to South Prairie, but that was another 5 miles and likely 45 mintues at our pace. I would have been extremely late for work, and would not have had time to pack for Teri and I's trip back to Canada this evening.
We said our good byes and I congratulated Erick for joining us and turned around. I wanted to push myself on the way back, so I set a mini-goal of averaging less than 4 mintues per mile for the 10 miles back. I only had two splits that were more than 4 minutes. One at 4:01 (damn it!) and another at 4:26. But most of them were in the 3:30 - 3:50 range. I felt really good about that. I got back to the trailhead about 9:08, loaded up the bike and headed home. Just had enough time to shower, pack, take the bike rack off the car, grab a bite and get to work. Good morning ride! And Erick, if you're reading, congrats again! It was great having you there! I hope to see you again soon!
Here is a link to my Motionbased Activity:
Birthdays . . .When did birthdays become a chore? Don't you remember when you were a kid and you saw the ad on TV for the latest and greatest thing you had to absolutely have or you'd just die just die!? But as I come screaming towards my 37th birthday in three weeks (contact me for an address to send gifts) I can only think of what a pain it is to have one. Now don't get me wrong, I love when people remember my birthday, or send me a card, or a gift, or whatever. But I hate the "what do you want?" question. Every year sometime in July, I start dreading the question because I know it's coming.
It's not like I can ask for World Peace, a Ferrari, private Jet, or an end to poverty. While all would be wonderful birthday gifts, none are very realistic. Then my quandry is most of the things I want (material things) are way too freaking expensive to ask for. And if I did get one of those things, I'd be very embarassed, or feel guilty or something. (I'm not worthy! Shut up you!)
The next question is always "What do you want to do for your birthday?" And again, I don't have much of an answer. "Do you want to have people over?" "Do you want to go out to dinner?" "Do you want a quiet evening at home?" Yes, Yes and Yes. But I don't want anything to do with planning it. I'm the planner in the family, if anything gets planned, I do it. Boyz weekends, vacations, whatever, I plan it. Maybe I'm just a control freak. But on my birthday, I guess I just want to be pampered.
Sigh, so Teri, if you're reading, know that I'm trying to figure it out. I really am. But I just don't have any good answers. Sorry. Sakuras anyone?
Harris Poll - Most and Least Prestigious Jobs in the USWell after the Redfin advertisement masqueraded as a 60 minutes piece and 20/20 getting their licks in, this just proves bad things happen in 3's. Listening to the Bob Rivers show this morning, they had a segment on what were the MOST and LEAST prestigious jobs in the United States. MOST prestigious goes to the faithful and loyal fire fighter. When they were asking what do you think the LEAST prestigious job is, I almost called in. But I thought UH-OH. Then when they mentioned that the honor had been held by used car salesmen for the past few years, I thought DOUBLE UH-OH. I knew what was coming.
So ladies and germs, based on a recent Harris Poll, the LEAST prestigious job in the United States of America . . . . drum roll please . . . Real Estate Agent. That's right folks, below septic tank sucker outter and garbage man (no offense to the septic tank sucker outters and garbage men) Real Estate agent is listed as the LEAST prestigious job in the US. Beautiful.
At this time, I'd like to thank my parents. Without your dedication and attention to raising me, I would not today be considered the scum of the earth. I'd like to . . . oh who am I kidding?! I'm not thanking anyone for this but the media. With all the media hype about why you don't need us, how dishonest we are, and how easy are jobs are, of COURSE you're going to give us this title.
Even Bob this morning said "Hey, if you've got one of those cookie cutter homes at the end of the cul-de-sac that looks just like every one on the market, go ahead and sell it yourself. Why do you need all the marketing? But if you've got a home that's truly unique, then you should probably hire an agent." Bob, on this my friend, I've got to disagree. (Oh, and I want my Adobe software back!) Right now if you've got a cookie cutter home just like every other one, NOW is the time you REALLY need us. Because all your neighbors have their home on the market too! What's going to make YOUR home stand out from the crowd. And there is a crowd. A Red and White "For Sale by Owner" will make it stand out to the agents and the bargain shoppers, that's one thing for sure.
If we're all scam artists, and what we do is soooooo easy, my office is currently recruiting agents. We'll even train you. Just go get your 60 clock hours of training, and pass your license exam and you too can get in on the good stuff. Don't you want your BMW? Only work 10 hours a week? Play golf every morning? Your second home in the Hamptons? Private jet to fly you around? Real Estate conferences (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) in Hawaii? C'mon in, the water's fine! Pass that exam, fog a mirror and you're in!